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Family Resiliency Center January 2018 Newsletter
Children’s Environmental Health Center Report Released

Family Resiliency Center based research is on the front lines of the new Children’s Environmental Health Impact Report.

The Children's Environmental Health Center (CEHC) at Illinois is one of 23 centers across the country conducting research towards reducing the burden that environmentally induced diseases place on children.

The Children’s Environmental Health Impact Report is a combined effort of each center’s scientific investigation and research. CEHC at Illinois’ contribution to the report focused on researching the impact of bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and other endocrine disruptors on child development. CEHC at Illinois research is a collaborative effort by researchers from the Family Resiliency Center and the Beckman Institute.

Learn more by accessing the report here

Follow @CEHCIllinois and #ProtectKidsHealth on Twitter

Register Now for Upcoming Consortium Webinar on Environmental Influences on Children’s Health Featuring the FRC’s Dr. Barbara Fiese & Brenda Koester

Title: Environmental Influences on Children’s Health and Development

Date: Wednesday, February 14

Time: 3:00-4:00 PM (EST)

Description: Every day, children are exposed to substances in their environment that can negatively impact their lifetime trajectory of health. During this webinar you will learn why children are more vulnerable to these exposures than adults due to differences in behavior and biology; unique windows of susceptibility during development; sources of exposure, including in early care and education settings; and health outcomes that may result from these exposures. Particular emphasis will be given to child care settings and early growth and development.

This webinar will feature presentations by Dr. Barbara Fiese and Brenda Koester of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois, and Dr. Susan Buchanan of the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Click here to register for this webinar

Sprouts Growing Healthy Habits Curriculum Expands Reach

The Sprouts program is broadening its scope through adapting it’s programing to center-based childcare and after school programming. Sprouts is a curriculum designed to promote development of healthy habits in early childhood, such as healthy eating, sleep, and screen time, through 8 interactive lessons.

Previously the Sprouts curriculum has been implemented successfully in kindergarten and first grade classrooms, but in 2018 Sprouts is working to adapt the curriculum for use in center-based childcare as well as after school programs such as the Boys and Girls Club.

Sprouts Seeks Teachers and Childcare Providers

Sprouts is currently looking for teachers and center-based child care providers who work with children ages 4-6 years and have at least 3 years of experience to review the Sprouts curriculum online and complete a 1-1.5 hour phone interview with us to provide feedback. Contact: Ashley Neef | Email: | Phone: 217-300-6636

New Affiliate Announcement

The Family Resiliency Center welcomes Dr. Anna Arthur as the newest affiliate at the FRC. Dr. Arthur Anna Arthur is an assistant professor and Sylvia D. Stroup Scholar in nutrition and cancer within the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois. She is also an oncology dietitian nutritionist at Carle Cancer Center. Dr. Arthur was awarded a grant through the Christopher Family Foundation Food and Family program in 2017 to investigate the nutritional challenges of food insecure cancer survivors. More information on her FRC project can be found here


The #talkFRCResearch podcast series offers a fresh new outlet to learn more about the innovative research projects at the FRC and how they are making an impact on families, health, and well-being. Check out a few of the recent highlights!

Exploring The Influence of Diet & Obesity On Children's Brain Functioning & Development

An eye-opening look at how a child's body weight and nutrition may influence their brain functioning and brain development.  FRC affiliate, Dr. Naiman Khan, discusses his trailblazing new and ongoing research.  This podcast also explores how Dr. Khan and his research team are contributing to the Family Resiliency Center's innovative STRONG Kids Program, a longitudinal study which follows participants from birth through toddler age and will provide unique insights on how individual biology interacts with family environment in an effort to reduce childhood obesity and promote healthy eating habits in young children. 

Listen on the FRC Website | Subscribe and Listen on iTunes 

Picky Eating and How Nature & Nurture May Influence Eating Behavior In Young Kids 

A Family Resiliency Center podcast featuring newly published research exploring how nature and nurture may be influencing children's eating behavior.  Hosted by Ryann Monahan, Family Resiliency Center Communications Specialist.  Featuring Natasha Cole, a doctoral student in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and lead author of the study.

Listen on the FRC Website | Subscribe and Listen on iTunes

FRC Staff Spotlight
Carolyn Sutter
  1. Tell us about your work with the Family Resiliency Center?

As a postdoctoral research associate with the FRC, I have the opportunity to work on a number of different research and outreach projects related to eating behavior and childhood obesity. In particular, during my postdoc I hope to learn more about the ways in which families and communities get information about health, nutrition, and feeding children as well as the best ways to disseminate this information through policy and practice. For example, this includes working with healthy habits curriculum evaluation and dissemination such as Sprouts or research projects in which I am examining how parents view and engage with feeding information on social media.  

  1. How will your Sprouts project improve or impact the lives of children/teachers?

In prior studies researchers from the FRC have collected data which suggests the Sprouts curriculum has a positive impact and leads to increases in children’s knowledge of healthy habits. In the current Sprouts project, I hope that we can extend those positive effects to a larger group of children by adapting the curriculum for use across multiple settings whether at school, in child care, or in after school programs. In addition, it is our goal to make the curriculum easy to use for teachers and program facilitators who may not have a lot of time to prepare lessons but want to incorporate healthy habits into their programs.

  1. What are your favorite hobbies?

I love watching and discussing movies with my friends, we have a weekly movie night where we watch a new movie together and make notes that we track in a spreadsheet. Since I’ve moved from California to Illinois, we’ve started watching our movies together over Skype so we can still share commentaries during the movie.

  1. What is your favorite food or meal?  And can you share your favorite recipe?

I love trying all different kinds of foods, but if I’m making it myself I enjoy baking the most. I’m sharing one of my favorite cookie recipes, flourless peanut butter chocolate chip.

Carolyn's Favorite Cookie Recipe

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